Zayat Stables’ multiple graded stakes winner El Kabeir was scratched Friday afternoon from Saturday’s 141st running of the Kentucky Derby because of a potential foot abscess.
Earlier in the day, his connections stated that the son of Scat Daddy “took a few cautious steps today” and that a tender spot in the inside quarter of his left front foot had been discovered. Trainer John Terranova was said to be working on the foot to see if the colt could get sound by Saturday morning but shortly after 4 p.m. the Zayats announced he was officially declared from the race.
“He was still not 100 percent this afternoon. Horse always comes first,” Justin Zayat, racing and stallion manager for Zayat Stables posted on his Twitter account.
In a follow-up text to the Herald-Leader, Justin Zayat added that the injury was day-to-day at this point and there was no time frame on how long El Kabeir would be sidelined.
“He is my favorite horse,” he added. “Doesn’t look to be serious but bad timing. I feel awful for John and (wife) Tonja (Terranova), they put so much work into him.”
El Kabeir was one of three Zayat-owned horses entered in the Kentucky Derby along with champion and morning-line favorite, American Pharoah, and long shot Mr. Z.
Since El Kabeir was scratched after the 9 a.m. also-eligibles deadline on Friday, maiden winner Tale of Verve – who was entered as an also-eligible – will not draw into the field leaving 19 horses now slated to contest the first leg of the Triple Crown. El Kabeir was slated to break out of post position No. 7 and with his defection, post position No. 1 will be left open (no horse) and all others will slide down with no gaps. Program numbers do not change.
El Kabeir won the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs last Nov. 29 and won the Grade III Jerome and Grade III Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct this winter. The son of Scat Daddy was most recently third in the Grade I Wood Memorial on April 4 and was listed at 30-1 on the Kentucky Derby morning line.